Truckie says brakes failed
A 56-YEAR-old truck driver accused of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death has told the court the brakes on his truck failed, causing him to smash into and run over the top of a ute on the Bruce Hwy.
Tristan Wanrooy was a passenger in the ute, travelling behind a Richers truck and in front of Maxwell John Rice’s Lindsay Brothers truck.
Mr Wanrooy was killed in the November 21, 2012 crash.
“I saw the Richers’ brake lights come on, then the ute applied its brakes and I put my foot on the brake pedal and nothing happened so I gave it a couple of pumps and still nothing happened. It was getting closer so I reefed the hand brake piece on to try and pull the trailer up,” Rice said.
“I was getting closer and closer and then I pulled the steering wheel to the left.
“The truck grabbed the left hand corner of the ute and went over the ute.”
The court heard Rice had phoned a work colleague to see about getting the brakes on his truck checked about an hour before the crash.
“I felt as though the brakes were a bit spongy,” he said.
Mr Godbolt asked his client if at that point he had any concern that to keep driving was an unsafe thing to do. Rice replied “no”. The court also heard from Transport Main Roads inspector Mark Williams, who inspected the truck after the crash.
Mr Godbolt asked Mr Williams about the test result that showed the prime mover’s third axel had no breaking force whatsoever.
“Foot to the floor... the wheels on those axels just spin?” he asked.
“Yes, they may as well not have been there,” Mr Williams answered.
The court heard Rice was not qualified or responsible for maintaining the brakes on the Lindsay Brothers trucks.
The trial continues.